HUNDREDS celebrated Noongar culture, art and history in Mirrabooka this week, the first Naidoc Week festivity hosted by the Wadjak Northside Community Centre and City of Stirling.
Elders Doolan and Leisha Eades gave a Welcome to Country at Herb Graham Recreation Centre, where crowds turned out to enjoy music, dances, speeches and food.
Wadjak Northside Community Centre co-chairman Len Yarran, who helped found the centre late last year, said people came from all over Perth to see how the Mirrabooka Naidoc had grown.
“What we’re doing here in the City of Stirling with indigenous and non-indigenous people is something to be reckoned with,” he said.
“I said this to Wadjellas – ‘if you don’t know a Noongar, introduce yourself to one’, and Noongars, introduce you to a Wadjella; we’re all here to celebrate Naidoc.”
Mr Yarran said Naidoc was a time to celebrate identity and culture with the wider community.
“For us as people, to come and acknowledge the work that we’ve done, the past injustices and a stronger future,” he said.
“We’ve got some great role models in our community, our elders, (including) a dear old lady who has been the backbone of our community – old Kathy Penny.”
Noongar elder William Ryder was named male elder of the year, female elder of the year was Karl Mourach, youth of the year Tahlia Gagliano, community member of the year Eileen Taylor and Wadjak Northside Community Centre organisation of the year.